Suspect Attempts to Blow Himself Up as Morocco Dismantles Terror Cell

Rabat – Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) released in depth details about the security operation that led to the arrest of five terror suspects with links to ISIS on Thursday morning.

BCIJ personnel carried out security missions in several cities, including Temara, Skhirat near Rabat, and Tangier and Tifelt.

The statement said that one of the suspects in Tiflet showed “fierce resistance” during the dismantling operation, seriously injuring one of the BCIJ staff with a sharp tool in the forearm.

In Temara, one of the defendants tried to blow himself with a large gas cylinder, also showing “fierce resistance.”

Security services fired four warning bullets and sound bombs, and used smoke bombs to blur the suspect’s vision and arrest him.

Search operations at the terror suspects’ safe houses enabled Morocco’s BCIJ personnel to seize three explosive belts containing tubes for loading explosive objects, 15 bottles containing chemicals, two electric detonators, electronic equipment, chemical powders, and electric cables.

BCIJ also seized three balaclavas, two pairs of binoculars, electronic welding equipment, a camera, two tear gas canisters, a large batch of knives of different sizes, small gas cylinders, and two pressure cookers loaded with nails and cables.

Searches also enabled security seizes to seize a cardboard model bearing the ISIS sign, three explosive vests in preparation, plastic pipes used in the manufacture of explosive belts, and three kilograms of ammonium nitrate.

BCIJ staff transferred all seized materials to scientific experts for further investigation.

The leader of the ISIS cell has a criminal record of violent crime. 

BCIJ said that the suspect, who they had classified as dangerous, planned to carry out terror operations targeting sensitive sites along with his accomplices.

The terror suspects planned to use explosive devices and belts to destabilize Morocco’s security and stability.

Investigation also showed that the suspects reached advanced stages of planning and preparation of terror actions.

The suspects also “carried out reconnaisance missions to identiy targets which they planned to attack with suicide bombing by using explosive vests.”

The BCIJ concluded that the suspects’ objective was to “cause heavy damage.”

All of the suspects are in custody for further investigation to determine possible links of the terror network.

The operation is part of Morocco’s approach seeking to combat terror threats in the region and beyond.

The operation coincides with an increase in terror threats targeting Morocco due to the upsurge in terror activities in the Sahel-Saharan region and in areas in North Africa, the BCIJ said.

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